- The woman who endured years of harassment and abuse at the hands of the man accused of attacking the Capital Gazette newsroom has spoken out.
- In an interview with the “Today” show on Monday, she recalled being “tormented” for years and being scared for her life even after moving out of state.
- The woman was at the center of a defamation lawsuit the suspect in the Capital Gazette shooting unsuccessfully brought against the company in 2012.
The woman who was stalked and harassed for years by the man charged with fatally shooting five people and injuring several others at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, has spoken out about the abuse she endured.
In an exclusive Monday-morning interview with the “Today” show on NBC, the woman, who went only by “Lori” and had her features obscured to protect her identity, said the years of being “traumatized and terrorised” drove her to move out of Maryland and still had her afraid for her life.
“As soon as they said it happened at the Capital newspaper and they couldn’t identify their suspect, I picked up the phone and said, ‘I know who your suspect is,'” the woman told “Today,” adding, “I knew if he was to do anything on a mass-shooting level, it was going to target The Capital.”
The suspect, identified by authorities as Jarrod Ramos, 38, filed a defamation lawsuit against Capital Gazette Communications, as well as against a columnist and an editor there, in 2012 after the newspaper The Capital covered his 2011 guilty plea for criminally harassing the woman known as Lori. The suit against the newspaper company was ultimately dismissed, but Ramos continued to harass Capital Gazette employees over the internet.
In the interview, Lori said Ramos was a former classmate of hers at Anne Arundel High School who reached out to her in 2009. Lori said that he became “obsessed” with her and that his messages quickly turned hostile and threatening, even suggesting she kill herself.
“I used to come home from work and I used to drive by my house every day and pause and make sure nothing looked amiss, make sure my windows looked cracked, my door wasn’t ajar,” Lori recalled. “I was afraid he could show up at any point, any place … and kill me.”
Even after Ramos received a suspended sentence of 90 days in jail and 18 months on probation, Lori said her fear for her safety prompted her to move out of Maryland and had left her permanently changed.
Several prominent mass shooters from recent years have had a history of harassing and abusing women. An analysis from Time magazine of 46 mass shootings from 2009 to 2017 found that 33% of the shooters had a documented pattern of violence against women and that laws often did little to prevent such men from legally accessing or keeping guns.
Ramos has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and is being held without bail in police custody. A trial date has not been set.
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